Meningitis Outbreak: New cases decline – NCDC
Sokoto commences vaccination campaign
Targets 2 million people
ABUJA, SOKOTO – The number of new cases of suspected meningitis being reported has begun to decline as outbreak control measures take effect, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has announced.
New statistics from the centre show that a total of 628 new cases were reported in week 16 against 1,935 in week 15 and 2,127 in week 14. The cumulative number of suspected cases recorded in Nigeria throughout the outbreak period is now 9,646 and 839 deaths from 43 Local Government Areas in 23 states.
While the total number of suspected cases are expected to rise with each new case, NCDC says the number of new cases recorded per week is dropping in the affected States indicating that the outbreak is likely to have peaked.
“We expect a continued decline in the number of new cases with the intensification of control measures in the affected states,” the centre announced in a statement last week.
Meanwhile, a large reactive vaccination campaign, which will cover over 800,000 persons aged between two and 29 years commenced in Sokoto State on Thursday the 27th of April.
A national support team, led by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) in partnership with the World Health Organisation (WHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is providing support to the state in order to ensure that the vaccination activities are well coordinated and efficiently delivered.
Launching the campaign in Dange town, headquarters of Dange/Shuni Local Government Area of the state, Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal announced that the Federal Government has donated 1.8 million vaccine doses of type “C” strain of meningitis to the State Government towards the exercise.
Tambuwal, who was represented by the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Balarabe Kakale, said that nearly two million people, aged between zero and 20 years would be targeted during the five-day exercise.
The governor said that the exercise was being conducted by over 300 teams of medical personnel across the 23 local government areas of the state. He added that the vaccination would protect children from a myriad of diseases.
“The measure is aimed at ensuring that the current meningitis epidemic in the state is totally brought under control. The state of high alert declared by the Ministry of Health on March 20, across the state was still in force.
“We are however happy that the situation has been brought under control and the mortality rate has drastically reduced,” the governor said.
Tambuwal commended the federal government, traditional rulers and religious leaders, as well as development partners for their sustained efforts at controlling the disease.
However, the governor cautioned residents of the state against sleeping in crowded and poorly ventilated rooms. He also called on parents to ensure that they participate in free routine immunisation against the six child killer diseases.
In his remarks, the District Head of Dange, Alhaji Mu’azu Umar, promised to work relentlessly to ensure the success of the exercise.